11th Annual Huntington Beach Cruise-In Report

The 2018 Huntington Beach Cruise-In almost didn’t happen! We’ve got so many things going on back at the factory that I reluctantly made the decision to cancel this year’s event. That was before Dave Hodgkins and the Factory Five community stepped up and said, “We can help!” This year’s event was a huge success, and while Factory Five paid for the sign and some incidentals, it was the customers and The Factory Five Forum who stepped up to carry the bulk of the work. So the event that almost didn’t happen became one of the best events of all. Here’s the report from the 11th annual Huntington Beach Cruise-In! Photos by Grant Hodgkins and Deane Beck.

Factory Five guys were lined up and ready before 7 AM. About 100 cars would attend this year’s event.

Factory Five customer Karen Salvaggio brought here #28 Type 65 Coupe and was in charge of registration. Here with Jeff Kleiner who was rocking a vintage Factory Five shirt. Jeff had come from the mid-west (Indiana), and was awarded the 2018 Robert Fedderson Award.

DJ Mike Brassfield has provided music and play-by-play announcing over the years, and always does a great job!

Most cars had arrived by 9 AM, and the first three blocks of Main Street became a pedestrian mall filled with Factory Fives for the entire day.

Factory Five Steve V. drove his newly built 818 all the way down from northern California with a caravan of Factory Five customers. The trip would be his very first in the car. Talk about a shake-down run!

The show officially got underway at 9:00, and the band was playing by mid-morning. Registration tallied close to 100 cars before the pylons went up, and Main Street became a car show.

Attendees had a chance to meet with VIP guest Jo Coddington (second from right). Here with Allen Grant (center), Karen Salvaggio, and Factory Five customers.

The weather was picture perfect. 70* and SoCal sunny!

The majority of the cars at the Cruise-In were Roadsters, but there was a good showing of Hot Rods with some exceptional builds of 818s, GTMs, and a slew of Coupes including two brand-new Gen 3 Coupes.

Car Show Award Winners

At 2 PM, car show awards were presented. Judging was done by Factory Five customers.

Best in Show Overall – Kevin Beaman
Best in Show Runner-Up – Andrew Freesh
Best in Show Roadster – Saul Sotelo
Best in Show Roadster Runner-Up – Greg Allen
Best in Show Type 65 Coupe – Nolan Wright
Best in Show Type 65 Coupe Runner-Up – Karen Salvaggio
Best in Show GTM – Michael Bivens
Best in Show ’33 Hot Rod – Tim Collins
Best in Show ’33 Hot Rod Runner-Up – Otis Marlow
Best in Show 818 – Pete Hildt
Best in Show 818 Runner-Up – Steve Van Lare
Best in Show Challenge Car – Mark Gearhardt
Best in Show Challenge Car Runner-Up – TC McNett
Best Use of Chrome – Bob Warren
Best Paint – Saul Sotelo
Best Engine – Richard Serrand
Best Interior/Details – Andrew Freesh
Best Under Construction – Steve Traversi
Most Innovative Design – Jeff McCabe
Highest Accrued Mileage – Paul Gillespie with 108,000 miles in his Mk1 Roadster
ReinCarNation Editors’ Choice Award presented by Steve Temple – Kevin Beaman
Robert Fedderson Memorial Award – Jeff Kleiner

Factory Five Painter Jeff “Da Bat” Miller was on hand and reluctantly accepted recognition from the crowd at the start of the awards presentation. Jeff has painted a tremendous number of Factory Fives, and it seems every other car parked on Main Street during the cruise-in. Jeff is one of the best guys you will ever know.

Factory Five customer Steve Van Lare, forum handle svanlare, with Jo Coddington. Best in Show 818 Runner-Up. Steve is the one who drove his newly-built 818 from NorCal.

Greg Allen and his wife with Jo Coddington win Best in Show Roadster Runner-Up. Earlier in the day, Greg’s wife would corner me and blame me for the fact that she doesn’t have her swimming pool… instead she has a cool green show-winning Roadster and a VERY happy husband! – Dave Smith

Johnny from BluePrint Engines presented the Best Engine award to Richard Serrano.

Factory Five customer Mike Moen (center) and his buddy drove his Coupe from New York in a re-creation of the famous Cannonball Run!

Mark Gearhardt wins Best in Show Challenge Car.

Saul Sotelo earned Best in Show Roadster AND Best Paint!

Tim Collins drove with his wife all the way down from Michigan to win Best in Show ’33 Hot Rod.

Steve Temple from ReinCarNation gave an Editor’s Choice Award to Kevin Beaman.

Best in Show GTM went to Michael Bivens.

Additional event photos!

By mid-day, Main Street, Huntington Beach was crowded with customers and spectators.

The Huntington Beach Cruise-In is a great place to see truly innovative takes on a classic.

Hot Rod Magazine writer Mark Gearhardt built this street racer Mk4 that has been shown at SEMA 2016 and 2017!

Talk about innovation! Factory Five customer Jeff McCabe’s all-electric Mk4 Roadster.

Coupes had a strong presence at this year’s Cruise-In.

Above & Below: Two stunning copper colored cars: Type 65 Coupe and Mk4 Roadster.

Above & Below: This red Roadster incorporated an innovative tilt nose and was owned by customer Kevin Beaman.

Above & Below: Factory Five customer Tim Collins brought his Hot Rod all the way from Oxford, MI! His craftsmanship earned his Best in Show ’33 Hot Rod and his metal work earned him praise from everyone!

Above & Below: Tim’s interior of his ’33 Hot Rod was incredible. Below with Jo Coddington.

Shelby Team race driver Allen Grant was on hand for the show.

Nolan Wright brought his newly built/re-built Factory Five Gen 3 Coupe that had been featured in Hot Rod Magazine!

Charles Rogers brought his sweetheart to Huntington Beach along with his wife. Just kidding! Charles’ orange and cream Hot Rod was a family build, and his 9-year-old son picked out the colors (impressive 9-year-old).

The awards presentation was held on Main Street at 2 PM.

Johnny from BluePrint Engines with Factory Five Challenge Series Racer TC McNett.

Wilwood Brakes was on hand to show off their latest offerings. Wilwood has been a great partner of Factory Five.

Factory Five customer James Auburn and his wife built this beautiful red Mk4 Roadster. James has two sons who serve as F-18 fighter pilots in the U.S. Air Force!

It may not be a Factory Five, but I’m pretty sure he’ll be driving one years from now!

Grant Hodgkins designed the logo for this year’s Cruise-In.

The Cruise-In is about fellowship and good times. Deane Beck (second from right) contributed many of the photos in this story.

Gen 3 Type 65 Coupe-R.

Even the gauges had stripes!

Jeff Kleiner (center with microphone) with Jo Coddington, Dave Hodgkins, Karen Salvaggio, and Dave Smith is presented with the Robert Fedderson Award.

4 PM was the end of the car show and the beginning of food and drinks!

As I sat at the “Long Border” where 24 years ago I conceived the idea that would become Factory Five Racing, it was hard not to be proud of the company. The cars are indeed a great testament to so much work by so many people, but the lasting legacy of Factory Five was on full display on Main Street, and that is friendship. I love coming back to HB where this whole journey began. I love spending a day with so many hardcore west coast customers (and some from Canada, Michigan, and New York!), and I love having a few beers at the end of  the car show.

We’ll be back next year for the 12th annual event!

I left on a red-eye flight back to New England Saturday night. Last stop: In-N-Out Burgers. I love SoCal!

Dave Smith

P.S. – Apologies in advance to SO MANY people who I did not have a chance to meet with, post pictures of, or give credit to. It’s an amazing event, and too much for one person to cover. See you next year!

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